The South Terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) is getting its cobwebs dusted off to make way for a major facelift, thanks to LoneStar Airport Holdings. The project will bring new life to a section of the bustling airport that hasn’t been used since 2008, adding much-needed passenger capacity to this busy airport.
Air travelers using the South Terminal will be served in ways similar to current operations, just hopefully at a much quicker pace. The exterior of the 30,000 square-foot building will get a facelift, and nearly all of the interior spaces will receive a complete refresh.
Inside, travelers will find eight check-in counters, automated kiosks, checked-baggage screening equipment, a TSA checkpoint, a baggage claim area, and a large passenger hold room. A wide variety of passenger services and amenities will be offered in the new terminal.
Developer LoneStar Airport Holdings has teamed up with Fentress Architects of Denver, CO to design the facility, while Hunt Construction Group will oversee the rehabilitation. A variety of Austin-area sub-contractors will carry out activities such as demolition and fire suppression. LoneStar Airport Holdings is committed to a partnership with the City of Austin’s Small & Minority Business Resource Department to ensure that a diverse group of business owners are afforded an opportunity to participate in the project.
“Ground-level aircraft boarding invokes the golden age of mid-century air travel – when passengers walked across the tarmac to board their flights,” said Jeff Pearse, CEO of LoneStar Airport Holdings, LLC. “That golden age became the basis for our interior design. Mid-century cues in furniture and finishes – utilizing textures and colors native to the Texas Hill Country will provide Austin travelers an airport experience as unique as our city,” he added.
The project stands out as a unique one in the aviation industry as it is a partnership between the city and a privately-owned company. Typically, airport terminals are funded by public sector financing.
“This is an innovative approach to airport terminal development,” said Emmett McCann, Managing Director of Oaktree. “In the US, public sector financing of terminals is the norm. In this case, private capital will fund the rehabilitation and when completed, the South Terminal at ABIA will be one of only a handful of privately operated airport terminal buildings in the nation.” He continued, “Public-private partnerships of this nature often allow cities to deliver infrastructure faster and at a lower cost than more traditional means and we are pleased to have partnered with the City of Austin on this pioneering project.”
Through this partnership, LoneStar Airport Holdings plans to invest more than $12 million to rehabilitate the South Terminal and its supporting infrastructure. After the renovation is complete next spring they will assume operational control of the facility.
The Barbara Jordan Terminal currently exceeds 11.5 million passengers, according to a press release. Once complete, the South Terminal will be able to serve a combined total of up to 36 aircraft arrivals and departures per day.